HOW TO FISH WITH 60 FLIES ALL AT ONCE
It was a fairly hot day in late October and casting into a river of floating leaves on a windy day wasn't the best of options. Nevertheless it beat the heck out of sitting at the tying bench and just dreaming of hooking up with one of the five pounders that had been stocked by the Fish and Game folks a few weeks previously. Slowly navigating my way through a mass of river side thorn brush and between various discarded glass bottles and other trash took a high level of concentration just too finally reach riverside. Now what kind of fur, feathers and lord knows what else would be the ticket for this ride?
No noticeable sipping, slurping or down right rocket launched skyward trout were in view during a ten minute pause of possible activity searching. So now the choices began. Any dry fly imitation would last about five seconds before it hitched a ride on any one or more of a gazillion leaves that populated the water that day. Nymphing would entail the same scenarios except on the sunken mass of debris now inhabiting the lower depths. What to do – what to do?
Okay. I decided to try a weighted nymph and just try to deal with any false strikes as best I could. That was a dandy idea in thought but in application it sucked!
A dry fly then rode so many surface "leaf boats" that the price of passage was way too much time reeling in massive Sycamore droppings and way too little time actually fishing. However, an occasional free float or bottom bouncing drift would occur with enough regularity to spur one on in spite of the leafy hitchhikers.
About an hour later and having landed several wall mounting size "foliage keepers" a small stretch of fairly open water miraculously appeared. It was time to change offerings and try some top water delicacy before this rare opportunity window closed. Out of my vest came a plastic floatable box full of a myriad assortment of dries. In high anticipation a selection was decided upon and attached to my lanyard forceps while the fly box was returned to its secure vest pocket.
This was a great idea in thought but the practice of this sleigh-of-hand didn't go as smooth as anticipated. After horribly missing the vest pocket return my fly box was now deposited in the river highway and then took off downstream alongside the swiftest mass of debris.
Without thinking of the consequences I abruptly tried to follow by running downstream in full pursuit. This endeavor came to a screeching halt with a flailing of arms, dropping of rod and promptly sitting down in knee high water of the colder variety. Thank goodness for the chest highs or else this soap less bath would have had a grimmer ending.
Once again erect and rod secured, the downstream trek seemed even more foolish then before.
But hope reigned supreme when the floating fly box seemed to be heading to the right side of the river where a huge downed tree had been deposited against a very large mid-stream boulder during a previous deluge. The tree root ball was positioned directly across the river from the boulder till it almost touched the rocky bottom of the stream side. And even more fortunate the tree trunk, from boulder to shore, was level with the top of the water flowing underneath of it.
As I made my way down stream, now walking a mite more meticulously, it was apparent that the fly box had been trapped in the swirling water that was going under the tree trunk at mid-point.
Departing the water so as not to cause even the slightest ripple to upset the fly box to continue its journey I decided to wade slowly out to it. At this point the tree had created a much deeper hole on the right side of the boulder and it was either keep going or lose any chance of recovery.
The box was floating in a small whirlpool created by the swift water flow under the tree trunk and the slightest disturbance would probably have dislodged it and that would be that.
Standing almost chest high in the swiftly flowing water I slowly reached out towards the fly box and delicately grabbed it in one rapid movement. If you were expecting a disastrous near drowning trip under the tree trunk or whatever other scenario came to mind; thankfully it didn't happen.
Moral of the story: This was not "HOW TO FISH 60 FLIES ALL AT ONCE!"